Back in the day, before Billboard introduced the Soundscan method to making charts (meaning every time you buy an album, the sale is uploaded into the vast Billboard database of Evil, called "B-Devil" for short), album sales were "tallied" by each retailer and submitted to Billboard. This meant that most albums would slowly rise up the charts to get to their peak position as the retailer massaged their data or just took a long time to send the sales to the compiler. Ah, but when Soundscan was introduced, suddenly the world was shocked to see an album debut at #1 (the first being, I think, Skid Row's Slave to the Grind) and since then, it has become commonplace. Why all this introduction? Well, the charts are a volatile place, and lots of bands debut high only to precipitiously drop because most of their first week sales were rabid fans. The Arctic Monkeys now know what the feels like as their new album fell from its loftly #7 all the way down to #37 in its second week. Ouch. So much for a large fan base.
If you're curious, some other fun things happened on the Billboard Album charts this week. Other than Ne-Yo entering at #1, we get to enjoy the return of RUSH! They got in all the way at #3. Wow. Alternative favorites did well too, with Feist making it in at #16 (But why did they send me a preview CD that will not play on anything CD playing object I own, not my iBook, not my car, not my DVD player? Come on, if you want a review, make the damn thing playable), Tori Amos at #5, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club at #46, and the resurrected Dinosaur Jr. (complete with J Mascis and Lou Barlow) at #69. Good times.